Accomplishments and prospects of the woodworking enterprises in the Republic of Belarus

Yuri Nazarov,
The Chairman of the Concern,
Concern Bellesbumprom,

Forest has always been of utmost significance for the life of Belarusian people. It has been providing people with shelter and heat from time immemorial and serving as a source of invaluable gifts of nature and of food. And it still retains these functions. Forest serves not only a guarantee of ecological security of the state, it is also a powerful resource potential for the development of forestry and wood-processing industries.

More than 40 % of the area of Belarus is covered with forest. Standing crop is estimated in the volume of 1.8 billion cubic meters of timber. Annual wood stock increment reaches 31 million cubic meters. The rational utilization of available forest resources along with the development of value added wood processing, aimed at manufacturing products with high added value are defined as key priorities of the sustainable development of forest sector in the independent Belarus.


  • Forest area – 9.6 million hectares
  • The stock of standing timber is 1.8 billion cubic meters
  • The annual growth of wood is more than 31 million cubic meters
  • Forest cover – 39.8%
  • More than 2.5 thousand timber companies

The state, rich in timber resources, is interested in maximizing profit from its processing. This objective can be reached only through introduction of new technologies and creation of highly efficient state-of-the-art production facilities.

The concept of increasing production potential of the country has enjoyed a broad state support.

The decision to modernize and upgrade major wood-processing enterprises, affiliated with Bellesbumprom (Belarusian timber, woodworking, pulp and paper industry concern), to commission new up-to-date production facilities, focusing on the output of innovative and import-substituting products, was adopted by the Head of the State in 2007.

That was a starting point for the renewal of the Belarusian wood-processing industry. More than a dozen of cutting-edge wood-processing, furniture and pulp-and-paper factories, which represent a radically new approach to production, were put into operation by 2015. The total sum of public investment into this sector amounted to 4 billion US Dollars. Expenses related to retrofitting were partially borne by the manufacturers.

Thanks to this large-scale modification, Bellesbumprom enterprises today are equipped with production lines from world renowned manufacturers, which enable value added wood processing and the output of a wide assortment of products which are in demand in the global market.

Practically the whole range of products is both import-substituting and export-oriented. Here belongs an impressive line of wood-based panels (particle boards, fiber boards, MDF/HDF), plywood of different grades, laminated flooring, pulp, a variety of paper and cardboard, wallpaper, furniture, sawn wood, prefab houses, wood fuel, construction elements and many other commodities.

The accomplished modernization of enterprises led to twice as large product range, which now comprises about 80 commodities.

A number of enterprises produce innovative products, such as, for instance, Mozyrsky DOK JSC, which is the only factory in CIS-countries and one of the three factories in Europe, designed for production of insulating fiberboards. Mostovdrev JSC is the only factory in the country to produce large-size and water-resistant plywood.  The companies of the Concern in the aggregate are the largest furniture manufacturer in the country. More than 60% of furniture is sold to Italy, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Belgium, Austria and other countries.

It should be mentioned, that the upgrading of the existing factories and launching of new production facilities had a beneficial result by significantly widening of export geography, bringing to 60 the countries, mainly non-CIS states, where more than 50% of goods exported from Belarus are shipped.

The largest share of total exports outside CIS goes to Poland – 32%, which is followed by China (16.8%) and Lithuania (15.5%). Dynamic growth is seen in sales to location-wise distant markets. Here the upward trend is noticed in China, Iran, Egypt, UAE, Kenya and Israel. These are the largest markets for paper, cardboard, plywood, wood-based panels and furniture.

Russia is the leading trade partner among CIS countries with import volume of 61.2 %, the second largest market for Belarusian goods is Ukraine (18.2%), followed by Kazakhstan, where nearly 8% of the goods are sold.

The Bellesbumprom companies are also engaged in the implementation of import substitution programme. Annual increase in the output of import-substituting goods reaches 20-30%. These are pulp, fiberboards and particle boards, plywood, laminated flooring, paper of certain quality grades, cardboard and wallpaper

Export revenues cover the costs of the purchase of new equipment, and are used to finance further development of production activities and raise salaries of the workforce in the industry.

It should be noted that modernization of wood-processing enterprises not only helped to preserve the occupation levels in the industry, but contributed to creation of new jobs.  The personnel of wood-processing companies increased by 3 thousand people over the last 5 years. Those, who work in the re-equipped factories in small towns, have better chances to raise their professional expertise and income level.

The renewal of industrial enterprises gave additional impetus to the economic growth of the territories where such enterprises are located.

Many of such factories belong to “town-forming enterprises”, i.e.  provide occupation to the most of the local population.

With regard to the economic effect of the accomplished modernization it is worth mentioning that the manufacturing output in the re-equipped factories shows 12.4-fold increase over the period from 2010 to 2018. Wood processing depth in Belarus went up from 38.5% in 2006 to 90% in 2018. This is an example of practically waste-free production process. Upgrading projects, which included creation of own power generation facilities, has allowed to obtain power from boilers, working on local energy resources. This allowed to halve the consumption of imported fuels and energy resources and led to the utilization of wood fuel in the woodworking process to more than 95%.

Currently the Concern considers the prospects of further development of the industry to be mainly connected with furniture manufacture targeted at European markets, pulp-and-paper production, where building of new production facilities is planned, including packaging paper production lines, and the development of bioenergy through building of pellet manufacturing plants. All projects are focused on the comprehensive utilization of available timber resources.

The top priorities of the Belarusian wood-processing industry today are further growth of manufacturing capacities, finding additional stimuli for investments, raising the efficiency of research and development, aimed at the creating of new products, forming of “green” economy, based on energy saving, environmentally friendly technologies, renewable and alternative energy sources and cost-effective technologies.

Find full information about us at


The Belarusian Production and Trade Concern of timber, woodworking and pulp and paper industry “Bellesbumprom” is a state-owned organization, which is accountable to the Government of Belarus. The main function of the Concern is coordination of the forest complex development and management of the major wood-processing companies of the country. The Concern is an umbrella body for more than 50 production enterprises and organizations.

Development of export potential of the industry is one of the key objectives and it is successfully implemented. More than 72 % of the output is exported to nearly 60 countries.

Volumes of wood harvesting:
2010 – 15.5 million cubic meters
2017 – 22.5 million cubic meters
2018 – 28.5 million cubic meters

Expert article 2638

> Back to Baltic Rim Economies 5/2019